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  1. #1
    Senior Member steve-in-kville's Avatar
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    Commuting exclusively on a 29er?

    I first must admit I am not able to take a liking to drop bars... at least not for commuting or even pleasure riding. Just can't get used to the position. I've been riding my Jamis flatbar for almost 2 years now and really like it. Its a road frame, road wheels and road gearing.

    Before long I want to purchase a second commuter so that I am not dependant on just one. I am looking at MTB's as they would give me some options for off-road and winter use.

    I also have been reading about the 29 rage and this has caught my eye. I am on the short side (5'2") and in so doing the math a 29er wheel is half my heighth. One shop tells me I am crazy for considering a 29er; another tells me to give it an honest try.

    So I guess this post poses two questions:
    1) Would a 29er be practical for seasonal commuting?

    2) Would my hieghth pose a problem?
    Best regards - steve
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  2. #2
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    I commuted on a 29er (Marin Muirwoods 29er) for a little while, nice smooth ride (use road tires). I prefer drop bars and my road bikes, so I'm now commuting on those. 29er is probably more suited for year round commuting as you can use more aggressive tires in the winter...i'd say take one out for a ride at your LBS and make sure that it's a good fit for you at 5'2" In all honesty, a "29er" is a beefy 700c, so it shouldn't be that far of a stretch if you've ridden a traditional road bike.

  3. #3
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    a friend of mine just got a 700cc schwinn hybrid and she is just about 5'3"

    she hasn't ridden a bike in years and loves it.

  4. #4
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    I think you would be better with 26" wheels. Lighter and less likely to have toe overlap problems. You should first try different non-dropped bar configurations.

  5. #5
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
    I first must admit I am not able to take a liking to drop bars... at least not for commuting or even pleasure riding. Just can't get used to the position. I've been riding my Jamis flatbar for almost 2 years now and really like it. Its a road frame, road wheels and road gearing.

    Before long I want to purchase a second commuter so that I am not dependant on just one. I am looking at MTB's as they would give me some options for off-road and winter use.

    I also have been reading about the 29 rage and this has caught my eye. I am on the short side (5'2") and in so doing the math a 29er wheel is half my heighth. One shop tells me I am crazy for considering a 29er; another tells me to give it an honest try.

    So I guess this post poses two questions:
    1) Would a 29er be practical for seasonal commuting?

    2) Would my hieghth pose a problem?
    A 29er is not for you...not if you want to do off-road riding too. The big wheels and tires along with suspension makes the bike way too big for you. You'd not have any room to bail off. I don't know that there are even any 29ers in your size. You'll need a 13" frame for off-road and that's really too small to have 29" wheels on.

    Stick with 26".
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  6. #6
    Senior Member tjspiel's Avatar
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    I have an old 700c MTB from before they were called 29ers. It's a rigid framed bike and I think it's great for commuting, especially in the winter since there's a lot of options for studded tires in the 700c size.

    I don't know if there's anything that will fit somebody whose 5'2 without compromising the geometry. Maybe. Even with road bikes you'll see 26" or 650 (b or c, I get confused) wheels on the smaller frames.

  7. #7
    Senior Member alan s's Avatar
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    Listen to the guy who said you are crazy . . . go with the 26".

  8. #8
    not a role model JeffS's Avatar
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    I'd stick with 26".

    Fashion aside, I think there's more downside to up for you.

  9. #9
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    at the least, take a few bikes out for a test spin. of both sizes.

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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    A 29er is not for you...not if you want to do off-road riding too. The big wheels and tires along with suspension makes the bike way too big for you. You'd not have any room to bail off. I don't know that there are even any 29ers in your size. You'll need a 13" frame for off-road and that's really too small to have 29" wheels on.

    Stick with 26".
    I'm 5'7" and the smallest 29er that works for me is a 15." Any smaller in height than that, go either 26" or 650B. They can design 29ers only so far because of the monster tires people can run on it. Not any different in sizing from today's fat bikes.

  11. #11
    Velocommuter Commando Sirrus Rider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by idiotekniQues View Post
    at the least, take a few bikes out for a test spin. of both sizes.
    As someone who is 5'4" I agree. Take some test rides and approach both bikes with an open mind. You might find the 26" more comfortable in the long run..
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    I don't understand the big deal about wheel sizes. Just ride what fits. I'm 6'3", 6'4" and ride 26" hardtails and 650b rando bikes just fine.

    If you fine a 29er you feel comfortable on, commute on it. Who cares? Just ride something that fits, don't overthink it.

  13. #13
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    My wife is 5'1" with a 28" inseam. She has been riding an Ellsworth Evolve full suspension small frame for over 3 years and loves it. She rides it off road mostly but has ridden on the road with it until I just got her a Lynskey Sportive recently for the road. The Ellsworth seemed to have the lowest stand over height I could find when I was shopping for a 29er for her. You will most likely go slower on the road with a 29er but you would have comfort. If you put road tires on it and some higher gearing you could get some more speed out of it. Look around a bit and test drive a few and you should be able to get your answer.

  14. #14
    Disco Infiltrator Darth Lefty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sullalto View Post
    I don't understand the big deal about wheel sizes. Just ride what fits. I'm 6'3", 6'4" and ride 26" hardtails and 650b rando bikes just fine.
    That's ok for you, but at small sizes the bigger front wheel is basically too tall to place the correct frame geometry around it. It's the same reason kids bikes have 20" tires. You can't make a negative-length head tube.

  15. #15
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
    I first must admit I am not able to take a liking to drop bars... at least not for commuting or even pleasure riding. Just can't get used to the position. I've been riding my Jamis flatbar for almost 2 years now and really like it. Its a road frame, road wheels and road gearing.

    Before long I want to purchase a second commuter so that I am not dependant on just one. I am looking at MTB's as they would give me some options for off-road and winter use.

    I also have been reading about the 29 rage and this has caught my eye. I am on the short side (5'2") and in so doing the math a 29er wheel is half my heighth. One shop tells me I am crazy for considering a 29er; another tells me to give it an honest try.

    So I guess this post poses two questions:
    1) Would a 29er be practical for seasonal commuting?

    2) Would my hieghth pose a problem?
    I'm just an inch taller then you. I have a 27" bike and a 700" bike. If those bikes didn't have mixte and step-through frames, I would be unable to ride them safely. As is, the mixte is borderline too big. Toe wacking happens often on both. I can't imagine bikes with bigger wheels being better.
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

  16. #16
    Mad bike riding scientist cyccommute's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by katsrevenge View Post
    I'm just an inch taller then you. I have a 27" bike and a 700" bike. If those bikes didn't have mixte and step-through frames, I would be unable to ride them safely. As is, the mixte is borderline too big. Toe wacking happens often on both. I can't imagine bikes with bigger wheels being better.
    I think that steve-in-kville's question may have been answered 4 years ago. This is a zombie thread.
    Stuart Black
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  17. #17
    aka Tom Reingold noglider's Avatar
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    I wouldn't advocate automatic closure of old threads, but it would be nice if there were a warning when people start to post on them.
    You don't read my signature anyway, do you?

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  18. #18
    20+mph Commuter JoeyBike's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
    1) Would a 29er be practical for seasonal commuting?
    Yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by steve-in-kville View Post
    2) Would my hieghth pose a problem?
    Probably.

    Go with 650b wheels. 26" is going away. 650b (27.5") is the vertically challenged answer to high performance 700c fattys. Do a search for 650 high end wheels. Everyone is making that size and the rest of the industry will follow. The conversion already well underway to address the needs of those not suited for 29ers.

    Here is a pretty good article to sort it out for yourself: War of the Wheel Sizes - Big Wheel Bikes | Bike Magazine

    You're welcome!
    Last edited by JoeyBike; 06-10-14 at 10:26 AM.
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  19. #19
    covered in cat fur katsrevenge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by cyccommute View Post
    I think that steve-in-kville's question may have been answered 4 years ago. This is a zombie thread.
    Oh good grief. This is what I get for late night posting!
    Just one of those dirty pinko commies some people worry about.

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